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When it comes to quality products, Hourglass and NARS are highly regarded. They’re both on the higher end of moderately priced brands. I think both fall a little short from being called high end, although some may disagree with me. The quality for the price spent is usually there. It can at times exceed my expectations (hello Incandescent Electra, Dim Light, Kauai, Orgasm) and other times fall short (hello Radiant Light and Narsissist Palette), so I look forward to doing a full review once I’ve played with the palettes a bit.
To avoid disappointment, I generally prefer to swatch things in store before I buy them online. The online promo codes for Sephora are generally better, so I do not buy in store often. For these two palettes, I did not swatch any shades before buying them. This will be my first experience with Hourglass shadows. As I find NARS shadows hit or miss, buying without swatching is a huge step for me. Some of them are so amazing that I feel they could be classified as high end, whereas some almost feel low end. They’re pretty inconsistent. From the swatches I’ve seen of both palettes all over the Internet, I decided to go for it. When I go it, I really go for it, because I do not believe in returning things unless they arrive damaged. I’ve just never done it.
I will however pass on duds to someone else. Here’s looking at you, MAC Kelly Osbourne Bloody Brilliant quad that looked so incredibly lovely but creased all three times I tried it. And if you’re curious, I was using the king of eyeshadow primer, NARS pro prime. If that does not prevent eyeshadow from creasing, I cannot think of anything else that will. So, the beautiful $11 a shade quad was sent to live in another home (where the owner hopefully has less oily eyelids). At $11 an eyeshadow, there should be no creasing. Plus, MAC has no promos, so I paid full price for it. I have a Wet n’ Wild palette (thanks to my lovely son, Xander) that does not crease with NARS pro prime, so shame on that MAC palette.
I ordered the Hourglass Modernist Atmosphere Eyeshadow Palette and the NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow palettes from Sephora along with three random samples. It’s not that I am bummed by the samples, but they’re not anything I feel the need to try. If you feel the need to try any of these samples, be sure to enter my giveaway and tell me which one interests you. They are Caudalie Premier Cru the elixir, Philosophy live joyously, and Balenciaga B. If you win, I will send it to you along with some other samples.
I was waiting for a good Rouge code to be released, but Sephora was holding out on us. I missed out on the Color of the Year items, so I did not want to wait any longer to purchase these. Even though I have not re-qualified for VIB yet this year, I decided to try the 10% off VIB code, which is V436CB. It usually only works for 60 days after you’ve qualified or around mid January for people who were VIB or Rouge the previous calendar year. The code worked, so I decided to use it. For those who choose to go this route, just remember it can only be used once per year. I contemplated making a larger purchase to get a better value from the code, but I decided just to stick with these for now. Hopefully, I made the right call.
The NARS palette is $79. With 10% off, I got it for $71.10. The Hourglass palette is $58. With 10% off, I got it for $52.20. Of course, I paid tax as well, which was $9.99 making my total $133.29. When it comes to a discount code versus a nice promo code, the promo code (assuming you want the item in the promotion) is usually the way to go. I still suggest running the numbers to be sure. Sephora had no promos worth more than $13.70 that I wanted. I am aware that I could have split the orders up to receive 2 promos and 6 samples instead of 3, but I kept them together to take advantage of the discount code.
The Hourglass Modernist Atmosphere Eyeshadow Palette is designed for cool toned skin. That is ultimately what made me choose it. My skin is cool even though it can lead neutral. I actually preferred swatches of a couple of the other palettes.
Until you see the swatches on a skin tone very similar to yours (in color and undertone), it is hard to say how it will look on you. Frankly, I really liked the idea of owning a cool toned palette, so I decided to give it a go.
Upon swatching, the first thing I noticed is this is the softest eyeshadow I have ever touched. As such, a lot of product came up with each swipe of my finger. It is very easy to move this product, so dig in with a light hand and do not ever drop it. Despite having a lot of each color on my fingers, I did not think the colors swatched particularly opaque leading me to believe it will take a lot of product to get a nice color payoff.
That is not promising for a 5 color palette where the shadows retail for $11.60 each. They are only 0.035 oz each color, too. That makes the shadows $331.43 per ounce.
It almost makes me rethink not considering this a high end line. They charge over $300 an ounce! Did I already tell you not to drop this thing? Reminder!
I decided to split up the brown swatches, because they looked pretty similar in the container. They look different on though. The brown on the left is the one in between the two on the right inside the palette. Second from the left, is the lightest shade. It swatched a little powdery and did not look as smooth as the others. The shade second to the right really reminds me of Benefit’s bronzing powder, Hoola. These were all heavy swipes, but the pink blends in with my skin. Without the flash, it almost disappears.
The verdict from swatching alone is I am nervous this palette is not worth what I paid, even with the 10% off. All five shadows are matte, and I am fond of the look they create. This is the same look.
The first picture is outside, while the second is inside. I did not like working with this formula, so I will not get any more of these.
The NARSissist Dual Intenisty palette is a wet/dry palette, which really interests me. Shadows that are designed to be used wet can look amazingly pigmented. Others can break apart when they’re wet. Wearing these light or bold seems like it will be a lot of fun. I’ve only swatched them dry so far, but no worries, you will be able to see them wet and in action on future articles.
I love the colors in this palette, even more so than the other one. Neutral colors are great, but I have a bevy of neutrals.
Colors excite me a bit more lately. Blues and purples are my favorites right now, because they look so great on cooler skin. That blue is amazing, and the burgundy in the corner is quite striking as well.
The following swatches are from top left to top right and bottom left to bottom right. That means the order is: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra, Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, and Sycorax. The lightest two colors on each row blend closely into my skin. You can see them a little better on the picture with the flash, but I am not seeing promise with either shade. The blue almost blends into the back without the flash, but you can see its beauty with the flash. While darker than it appears in the palette, it really is beautiful. Overall, I like more colors from this palette (although this does of course have 8 colors to the other palette’s 5).
There are 8 shadows in here that retail for $9.88 each. Although each shadow is cheaper, the amount of product given is 0.03 ounces per shade. That makes it 0.005 oz smaller per shade than the Hourglass palette.
That means that despite costing decently less per shade, the one ounce price is $329.17. Thus, this only costs $2.26 per ounce less. I am rethinking not placing this in the high end category as well. Do not drop this one either.
I enjoyed playing with the palette, and here is the look I came up with.
In real life, the shadows looked more dramatic than the first picture (taken outside) and less dramatic than the second picture (taken inside).
Despite not being much cheaper than the Hourglass palette, I did like the NARS palette better than the Hourglass. Even the two light shades may swatch vibrantly with water, so I will play more with that as I use this more.
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